Launch of the ABCPiP and local Infant Mental Health Strategy

January 2019

Following more than 18 months of development, the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust launched their infant mental health strategy. Brendan Whittle, Director of Children’s Services, SEHSCT went through the strategy document and the reason for its development.

It also saw the launch of the local ABC PiP - a new specialist parent-infant relationship service.

Over 170 local professionals attended the event hosted by the ABC PiP strategic partners - SE Trust, Barnardos NI, and TinyLife.

The day opened as a celebration of the hard work and connections made in the region to get to this point. The launch event is a result of STRONG CONNECTIONS and RELATIONSHIPS.

Lynda Wilson, Director of Barnardos NI, described the importance of STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS between statutory and third sector organisations. ‘Relational interventions and connectedness is the bedrock of service design and practice’.

Maurice Meehan, Head of Health Improvement, Public Health Agency,

described the policies underpinning the strategy and service development. Also the importance of long term vision & investment.

Lindsay Robinson shared her personal story and the need for more perinatal services in NI


The specialist parent-infant relationship service. A partnership between SEHSCT, BarnardosNI, TinyLife and Parent Infant Partnership UK

The specialist service supports parent-infant relationships that are affected by complex and numerous challenges. It is trauma informed, strengths based and relationship centred.

The service works with the family and environment surrounding the baby

The importance of language and communication in early child development was explained by the local SLT service and BarnardosNI.

Dr Bridget Tiernan, clinical lead at ABC PiP and Clinical Psychologist provided an overview of the development of infant mental health and how the changing social world impacts on early relationships.

Julia Buchanan, Policy Director at BarnardosNI described the pros and cons of the modern digital world on parent-infant relationships.

The Parent-Infant relationship

Robin Balbernie, Parent Infant Partnership UK gave the final plenary detailing how early relationships form, why they matter and why we need to support them.

For further information: Parent Infant Partnership UK ABC PiP (028) 9598 8056.

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